Esteban Cruz-Balbuena, CTFW, works the morning of July 14 after CTFW employees discovered hate related vandalism on the Dream Catcher.

$2,500 offered to information in regard to vandalism of Tribes’ Dream Catcher

BRIDGEPORT – The Colville Confederated Tribes’ are offering a $2,500 reward for information in regard to vandalism of the Colville Confederated Tribes’ purse seine, Dream Catcher. CTFW employees discovered the vandalized in the early morning hours of July 14.

Photos of the vessel show “KKK” and “White Power” written in large marker across the front of the vessel.

“There were a number of things stolen. They cut the purse line and did a little bit of damage to it,” said Mark Gauthier of Upper Columbia United Tribes.

“The first function of the boat is to collect both hatchery-origin and natural-origin Chinook broodstock for salmon production at Chief Joseph Hatchery. 

These fish provide future returns for all of the fishermen throughout the entire river system,” Randy Friedlander, CTFW director said in a statement released July 15.  “The second function of the vessel is to provide a selective harvest opportunity for the Colville Tribes.  Natural-origin Chinook that are not taken for broodstock are released to spawn, and only the hatchery-origin Chinook are harvested for consumption.”

Despite the damages, the boat was able to operate on the morning of July 14. Staff distributed salmon to Colville Tribal members around the reservation as scheduled the same afternoon.

Gauthier expressed this incident had taken place in the middle of the night.

Due to the recent incident, security has been added to the site along with cameras.

The Chief Joseph Hatchery releases 2.9 million salmon yearlings per year.

Rich Landers of the Spokesman-Review noted Jeff Korth, Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife, says sport fishermen in the Upper Columbia catch “about twice as many sockeye as the Colville tribal fishermen.”

Anyone with information about the incident is being asked to call the Colville Tribal Police Dept. at 509.634.2472.

Local businesses are also stepping up to add to this reward.  More information will become available pending further investigation.

The Tribune reached out to the Tribal Police department, but due to this being an ongoing investigation, they could not comment at this time. More information and updates will be provided at tribaltribune.com

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